Venus Express factsheet
Fast track to Venus
Name The name Venus Express comes from the short time to define, prepare and launch the mission. It took less than three years from the approval to the launch of the mission. To do this, ESA re-used the same design as the Mars Express mission and the same industrial teams that worked on that mission.
Description Venus Express will study our nearest planetary neighbour. It has been built around the design of Mars Express, making it quicker and cheaper to develop. In particular, Venus Express will study the Venusian atmosphere and clouds in unprecedented detail and accuracy.
Launch 9 November 2005 (Soyuz-Fregat from Baikonur, Kazakhstan).
Status In operation
Journey The launcher placed the spacecraft into a transfer orbit to Venus. It travelled through space for 155 days and, once captured by Venusian gravity, it took five days to manoeuvre into its operational orbit.
Notes With Venus Express, Mars Express and BepiColombo, ESA is the only space agency in the world with current plans to visit each planet in the inner Solar System.
The idea for Venus Express came out of a competition for European scientists to reuse existing technology and industrial teams.
Venus Express is ESA's first spacecraft to visit this planet.
Last update: 23 May 2007